WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED
Registration number 1929/001986/06
JSE Code: WHL
Woolworths' sales growth for the four months to date in the Clothing and Home
division of 10.9% met expectations with a good performance in ladieswear. The
Food division sales growth of 16.7% was good but lower than our more aggressive
expectations. Sales in the last few weeks are showing signs of strengthening.
Trading space to date has increased by 1.8% in clothing and 2.8% in food and a
further 2.9% in clothing and 13.3% in food is planned for the remainder of the
year. 7 corporate and 7 franchise stores were opened.
The effect of the interest rate cuts on our Financial Services division, is
small in the first quarter, but will impact performance of that division through
the remainder of the year.
Woolworths is well poised to take advantage of improved customer confidence
arising from the low interest rates. Retail sales growth is expected to
escalate through the festive season and the second half.
Country Road continues to operate in a fiercely competitive trading environment.
We are confident that their well-focused strategy will improve performance
towards the end of the current financial year.
Both businesses are positioned to deliver good growth by sticking tightly to
their knitting - to remain tight on cost but produce ever more appealing goods,
in modern attractive stores.
A further trading update will be released in early January 2004. Woolworths'
interim results for the 26-week period to 28 December 2003 are expected to be
announced on 12 February 2004.
Contact: Simon Susman Contact number: (021) 407-2700
Norman Thomson Contact number: (021) 407-3337
Date: 20/11/2003 11:50:22 AM Produced by the JSE SENS Department